In the past few months, many people have felt the need to go outside and explore the nature after long months of strict quarantine. As a result, hiking is more popular than it has been for a long time. Unfortunately, that can quickly lead to numerous paths being overcrowded. In the state of Washington, outdoor organizations have now presented a new app that is supposed to help to avoid the crowds. It allows hikers, who are interested in exploring the most popular hiking trails in Washington, enjoy themselves without running into other groups of people.
The new app called TREAD Map has been providing data, updates, and information on hiking trails and leisure activities in real-time for central Washington since spring 2021. It is operational in the Kittitas, Grant, Douglas, Chelan, and Okanagan counties. Developers expect to have heavy usage of the hiking trails in those counties during the summer. That is not surprising because thousands of people stormed the hiking trails last year too. That quickly became a problem as some paths were crowded, while there were others that were empty but very scenic too.
Better Control of Visitor Flows
The Tourism Alliance of Washington has teamed up with the developers of the app. Together they want to control the flow of visitors with a better strategy. They also aim to protect hiking trails across the state. Some roads have to be split into two lanes because so many people hike there. But that should be changed from now as the local managers are now entering warnings of overcrowding directly into the system. In this way, visitors can see which hiking trails are overrun before they begin their trip.
At the same time, the users of the app receive recommendations for alternatives. In addition, the public back-end delivers real-time information directly to hikers and the data is extensive. It concerns the use of the trails as well as camping areas. Moreover, there are several map levels in the app that users can switch on and off. Users will also find information about the quality of the air and current forest fires. Everything is presented in real-time. The creators are looking expand the services as soon as some new information is available.
Everyone Can Help
That is not all. The visitors themselves can share their knowledge or observations with others. For example, if they come across a fallen tree while hiking, they can post this information immediately. In addition, you can also see posts from local stores in the app. Thus, they might benefit from the advertising and get more customers and that way hikers have the opportunity to support the local economy with their purchases too. That helps to improve and protect the local systems.
The app is still in its initial phase, but the initiators hope that more and more people will use them in the future. They hope that user-friendliness will be improved even further as well. The aim , of course, is to cover the entire state with the app. If you are interested, you can get it from Google Play and the App Store.